Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Monday challenged the International Criminal Court (ICC), saying his country will determine to what extent it “will allow international bodies to dictate … how to make peace.”
According to Santos, Colombian judicial authorities have received letters from the ICC “with some concepts we respect,” but call for a debate on “where we should draw the line.”
“To what extent are we going to allow that international bodies dictate the will to make this peace, where the boundaries are,” Santos said at a speech.
The president did not disclose the content of the letters of the ICC.
Santos’ remarks followed statements by the international court stressing that “any solution that is reached has potential implications for the complementary action of the International Criminal Court because the agreement may affect national procedures to address crimes in which the ICC has jurisdiction.”
In this regard, the ICC stated that, “any proposed solution in the peace talks must be compatible with the Rome Statute.”
According to Santos, Colombia faces the dilemma of making judicial compromises in order to achieve a peace accord with the FARC, with who the government has been negotiating peace since December last year.
“All countries that have resolved conflicts are confronted with this decision, complicated decisions because generally not everybody is satisfied. Often the majority is dissatisfied. If one leans too much towards justice, maybe peace can not be reached,” the president said.
Santos’ apparent discontent with the ICC is in line with that of the FARC, whose chief negotiator, “Ivan Marquez,” said the International Criminal Court is “interventionist and biased” and “knows little about the internal Colombian conflict.”
The government and rebels are currently negotiating an eventual political participation of the FARC, the second of five negotiation points on the peace talks agenda before signing a peace accord. The preliminary agreement signed before the beginning of the talks fails to address the application of justice for crimes committed by the FARC in its almost 50-year war against the state.